Task Management Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Effective workflow management is a valuable trait for professionals in various fields. Whether you're compiling a report to give to your supervisor or collaborating on a large project with your team members, task management can help you increase your productivity and reduce the amount of time you spend on non-essential tasks. Improving your task management abilities can help you impress employers and potentially advance your career. In this article, we discuss useful task management skills that you can develop for the workplace and provide a definition and examples of these skills.

What are task management skills?

Task management skills are abilities to utilise your time as optimally as possible. They typically involve understanding how much work you can comfortably complete within a specific timeframe and how long each task may take. Individuals in various industries can benefit from optimising and learning how to appropriately allocate their time for essential and non-essential tasks.

Examples of task management skills

To help you utilise your work time effectively, consider cultivating the following skills:

Efficient scheduling

One of the basic components of task management is developing a productivity schedule. A schedule can help you organise the tasks you plan to complete in the appropriate order. This can help you conceptualise the number of projects requiring your attention.

A schedule helps you utilise any additional time you may have. Consider developing schedules that fit your specific deadlines and requirements. For example, you can create a weekly schedule if your workload is typically due before the weekend.

Related: What Is Labour Productivity (with Definition and Formula)

Active prioritisation

Consider ranking your tasks in order of urgency and necessity. This can ensure that you complete these tasks before your deadline by scheduling them first. You can then organise the less urgent tasks around them. This can help you fill your schedule and use your time effectively.

Related: 15 Key Areas for Development (with Examples and Tips)

Strong attention to detail

Strong attention to detail can help you simultaneously account for various factors relating to your tasks. This can add considerable value to your schedule and assist with successful task completion. If you're working on multiple projects at the same time, keeping track of your responsibilities is important since it can ensure that you produce high-quality work.

Delegation ability

Depending on your profession, you may be responsible for delegating responsibilities when necessary. You can consider including your team members' availability in your schedule to increase efficiency. This can provide you with an accurate understanding of the resources available to you on certain days, helping you meet upcoming deadlines.

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Improvement Strategies

Critical thinking

Critical thinking can help you logically identify the best methods for optimising your task management process. It's important to carefully examine each decision you make regarding productivity and determine if you're considering all possible factors. This can significantly improve your ability to use your time efficiently. Critical thinking skills also allow you to justify your time utilisation to a supervisor.

Familiarity with productivity software

Since keeping track of your projects and time requirements can be a complex task, you can incorporate productivity software into your task management planning. Productivity software typically includes digital checklists to monitor your progress, shared calendars that are accessible and editable by all relevant parties, spreadsheet generators and note-taking applications. This technology can help you save time and increase efficiency.

Related: How to Manage Time (with 23 Time Management Tips and Advice)

Communication

Strong communication skills allow you to effectively share ideas with team members and supervisors. These skills can also help you learn about new task management methods from your peers. If you're working as part of a team, you can use your communication skills to review individual aspects of a project upon completion and understand how they contribute to the team's overall goal. This can ensure that other team members focus their efforts on the appropriate sections of a project.

Troubleshooting proficiency

You may occasionally encounter workflow challenges, which can reduce the overall quality of your work. Learning how to effectively troubleshoot can be important for increasing your task management abilities. Methods such as proofreading and testing your final product can help you maintain high-quality output.

How to improve your task management skills

To help you improve your task management abilities, consider the following tips:

1. Establish efficient workflow times

Your productivity level may vary throughout the day. This may be due to a natural fluctuation in your energy levels or doing other work when your schedule allows additional time. Monitoring the times when you're most productive and synchronising your workload accordingly is a useful aspect of task management. This helps you optimise your performance while meeting the appropriate deadlines.

2. Track task duration

As you continue to develop your task management abilities, you can become more familiar with the duration of specific tasks. You can use this knowledge to determine the time necessary to complete a task, helping you to accurately update your schedule. This allows you to create a schedule that utilises your time as efficiently as possible. You could slightly overestimate the task duration to accommodate slight variations in productivity or unexpected challenges.

3. Monitor your progress on longer tasks

If your projects require multiple sessions to complete, making brief notes regarding your progress at the end of each session can keep you working efficiently. With these skills, you can estimate the completed portion of a project and create a graph representing the remaining work. You can also make a list of smaller tasks within the project's scope and cross them off upon completion. Having a visible indicator of your progress can increase your motivation to finish a project. This technique can help you ensure that you can complete a project before its deadline.

4. Separate your short-term and long-term tasks

Establishing an effective approach towards short-term and long-term tasks can help you use your working time efficiently. You can complete short-term tasks relatively quickly, while long-term goals may require a continuous effort over a long period. You can divide the long-term project into sections, allowing you to complete smaller portions on a daily basis, making the project less daunting. This can increase your productivity and motivation when working towards a long-term goal.

Task management skills in the workplace

The following are ways you can utilise these skills to improve your workplace performance:

  • Increases productivity: Completing tasks within your prescribed deadline can give you a sense of accomplishment. This can encourage you to strive for a similar accomplishment with future tasks.

  • Helps you advance in the company: When you consistently complete your work on time, you may impress your employers and receive a promotion.

  • Improves the company's professional relationships: By using your time effectively, you can help the company fulfil its obligations to its clients and shareholders. This can help the company attract more shareholders and clients, promoting growth.

Related: What Is Productivity? (With Definition and Examples)

How to highlight task management skills

Consider the following ways that you could highlight these skills to potential employers:

Task management skills for a resume and cover letter

Including task management skills on your resume can help you convince employers that you're an efficient employee with a focus on effective time management. These are typically soft skills that you can include in the skills section of your resume. If you have any measurable accomplishments in task management, you could include them on your resume.

To further demonstrate your task management abilities, you could offer a specific anecdote in your cover letter. This could describe a situation where you saved a notable amount of time on a project. You can include specific details to help your employer understand the situation.

Task management skills for a job interview

Once you receive a job interview, consider the ways you can describe these skills more specifically. You could practise offering certain responses. This could help you direct the conversation towards your strongest task management assets.

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